Hmmm…

A friend recently sent me a link to a video that one of my college professors made. It was a video about critical thinking. He mentioned an experiment performed by Edward De Bono about a black cylinder where the cylinder would tip over without a cause. It would be sitting there on a desk and a few seconds or minutes later, it would tip over. Then a question was posed to the students regarding how the cylinder tipped over. After watching the video a few times, it got me thinking.

Dennis Angle is the professor in the video. He was probably one of my favourite teachers because he’s a funny guy. He looks almost like Mr. Clean because he’s bald. I had him for the Computer Environment course at Mohawk. It’s a course that I didn’t like too much but I made sure to go to his lectures. I guess for this video, he’s teaching a course on critical thinking. Or he made it for the Wednesday auditorium lectures where all the Comp Sci students gather for one big lecture.

Mr. Angle referenced Edward De Bono so I did a little reading about him. De Bono states that there are four ways to be right. One of those ways is the feeling of being right. No matter who you are or what you do, everything to you might be right if it feels right to you. Someone can come up to you and say you’re wrong but maybe they are the one that’s wrong. Going with your gut feeling only helps with the present and could prove to be wrong in the future.

Much like the Black Cube project, this experiment got my curiosity stirring. This cylinder is just standing there and moments later it decides to fall over without anyone or anything doing anything to it. There’s no fan to blow it over. There’s no magnet to pull it down. Nothing. It’s right there in the open and it just falls over.

I’ve never taken any critical thinking classes so I don’t really know what kind of answer he’s looking for. I can make a few guesses and back it up with my own logic but I won’t know if that’s the correct answer or not. The answer isn’t given in the video so I have no way of knowing if it’s correct. I am not there to examine the cylinder in person so that makes it even harder to come to a conclusion. I have to come up with ideas based on what I see and hear.

I think that there is something inside the can that is causing it to tip over. Since there are no outside factors to cause it to do so, I’ve come to the conclusion that an inside factor is the cause. If you watch the video closely, you’ll notice that the can tips over only in one direction. It may appear as if it’s falling over in multiple directions but that’s an illusion caused by the camera angle.

After it tips over it appears to roll a little bit. That motion leads me to believe that there’s some sort of weight inside the can. If the can was filled with liquid, it would tip over and roll in one direction. That is not the case here because you can see it roll back and forth rapidly. If there is liquid inside the can, the viscosity of the liquid is probably very thick. Inside that thick liquid is probably a weight that is heavy enough to tip the can over. The can isn’t tipping over on its own. There has to be something pushing it over. Basically, it’s some sort of trick.

It’s almost like this trick or illusion of Magnetic Hill located on Kings Road in Burlington. People that go ghost hunting believes that if you go to this hill and put your car in neutral, the car will start to roll uphill. The story suggests that the ghost of children that died in the area are pushing your car up the hill towards safety. Another story suggests that there’s some sort of black hole that is affecting the gravity in this one particular area. I’m scientific enough to know that both stories are made up because people couldn’t explain the phenomenon.

The cause of the anti gravity illusion is the fact that you’re actually at the top of the hill and not at the bottom. The landscape sceneries are playing a trick on your eyes and making you believe that you’re at the bottom when in actuality, the elevation of your location is slightly higher than the elevation that you’re seeing. Of course, the story of ghosts pushing your car is a lot scarier.

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